We examined serum lipids in association with carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women.
In 2003–4, among 1827 Women’s Interagency HIV Study participants, we measured CIMT and lipids (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-c], low-density lipoprotein cholesterol [LDL-c], total cholesterol [TC], non-HDL-c). A subset of 520 treated HIV-infected women had pre-1997 lipid measures. We used multivariable linear regression to examine associations between lipids and CIMT.
In HIV-uninfected women, higher TC, LDL-c and non-HDL-c were associated with increased CIMT. Among HIV-infected women, associations of lipids with CIMT were observed in treated but not untreated women. Among the HIV-infected women treated in 2003–4, CIMT was associated both with lipids measured a decade earlier in infection, and with late lipid measurements.
Among HIV-infected women, hyperlipidemia is most strongly associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in treated women. Among treated women, the association appeared strongest early in the disease course.
cardiovascular diseases; carotid arteries; HAART; HIV; lipids
Background. The relationships between soluble CD14 (sCD14), endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide [LPS]), and progression of atherosclerosis have not been defined in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
Methods. We retrospectively assessed serum sCD14 and LPS levels of 91 subjects in a prospective 3-year study of carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) (AIDS Clinical Trials Group [ACTG] 5078), where subjects were enrolled as risk factor–controlled triads of HIV-uninfected (n = 36) and HIV-infected individuals with (n = 29) or without (n = 26) protease inhibitor (PI)–based therapy for ≥2 years. The primary end point was the yearly rate of change of CIMT (ΔCIMT).
Results. In multivariate analysis of the HIV-infected subjects, each 1 µg/mL above the mean of baseline serum sCD14 corresponded to an additional 1.52 µm/y (95% confidence interval, .07–2.98; P = .04) in the ΔCIMT. Every 100 pg/mL above the mean of baseline serum LPS corresponded to an additional 0.49 µm/y (95% confidence interval, .18–.81; P = .003) in the ΔCIMT. However, in univariate analysis in the HIV-uninfected group sCD14 (P = .33) and LPS (P = .27) levels were not associated with higher ΔCIMT. HIV infection and PI therapy were not associated with baseline serum LPS and sCD14 levels (P > .1).
Conclusions. Our data are among the first to suggest that serum biomarkers of microbial translocation (LPS) and macrophage activation (sCD14) predict subclinical atherosclerosis progression in HIV-infected persons.
Background and Purpose
To investigate whether the Framingham Cardiovascular Risk Profile (FCRP) and carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) are associated with cortical volume and thickness.
Consecutive subjects participating in a prospective cohort study of aging and mild cognitive impairment enriched for vascular risk factors for atherosclerosis underwent structural MRI scans at 3T and 4T MRI at three sites. Freesurfer (v5.1) was used to obtain regional measures of neocortical volumes (mm3) and thickness (mm). Multiple linear regression was used to determine the association of FCRP and CIMT with cortical volume and thickness
152 subjects (82 men) were aged 78 (±7) years old, 94 had a CDR of 0, 58 had a clinical dementia rating (CDR) of 0.5 and the mean mini-mental status examination (MMSE) was 28 ± 2. FCRP score was inversely associated with total gray matter (GM) volume, parietal and temporal GM volume (adjusted p<0.04). FCRP was inversely associated with parietal and total cerebral GM thickness (adjusted p<0.03). CIMT was inversely associated with thickness of parietal GM only (adjusted p=0.04). Including history of myocardial infarction or stroke and radiologic evidence of brain infarction, or apoE genotype did not alter relationships with FCRP or CIMT.
Increased cardiovascular risk was associated with reduced GM volume and thickness in regions also affected by Alzheimer’s disease (AD), independent of infarcts and apoE genotype. These results suggest a “double hit” toward developing dementia when someone with incipient AD also has high cardiovascular risk.
Framingham cardiovascular risk profile; carotid intima media thickness; gray matter; cortical volume; cortical thickness; atrophy
Exposure to ambient air pollutants increases risk for cardiovascular health outcomes in adults. The contribution of childhood air pollutant exposure to cardiovascular health has not been thoroughly evaluated.
Methods and results
The Testing Responses on Youth study consists of 861 college students recruited from the University of Southern California in 2007–2009. Participants attended one study visit during which blood pressure, heart rate and carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) were assessed. Self-administered questionnaires collected information about health and socio-demographic characteristics and a 12-hr fasting blood sample was drawn for lipid and biomarker analyses. Residential addresses were geocoded and used to assign cumulative air pollutant exposure estimates based on data derived from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality System (AQS) database. The associations between CIMT and air pollutants were assessed using linear regression analysis. Mean CIMT was 603 μm (± 54 SD). A 2 standard deviation (SD) increase in childhood (aged 0–5 years) or elementary school (aged 6–12) O3 exposure was associated with a 7.8 μm (95% CI −0.3, 15.9) or 10.1 μm (95% CI 1.8, 18.5) higher CIMT, respectively. Lifetime exposure to O3 showed similar but non-significant associations. No associations were observed for PM2.5, PM10 or NO2 although adjustment for these pollutants strengthened the childhood O3 associations.
Childhood exposure to O3 may be a novel risk factor for CIMT in a healthy population of college students. Regulation of air pollutants and efforts that focus on limiting childhood exposures continue to be important public health goals.
atherosclerosis; cardiovascular diseases; carotid arteries; epidemiology; pediatrics
The objective of this study was to examine the influence of persistence of the MetS (MetS) and its individual components over a 3-year period on carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) in overweight Latino children.
Ninety-seven healthy male and female overweight Latino children (mean age at baseline: 11.0±1.8 yrs) were assessed for MetS on four annual evaluations and classified according to the persistence of MetS: NEVER (0 annual visits with the MetS, n=53), INTERMITTENT (1 or 2 visits with the MetS, n=28), and PERSISTENT (3 or 4 visits with the MetS, n=16). CIMT was measured with high-resolution B-mode ultrasound (7.9±0.7 months after the most recent MetS assessment; mean age: 14.6±1.8 yr).
PERSISTENT MetS was associated with significantly higher CIMT (0.647mm±0.018 compared to (0.600mm±0.007 in those who NEVER had MetS, p<0.01). This difference remained significant after controlling for gender, baseline age, total fat mass, total lean tissue mass and insulin sensitivity. PERSISTENT high waist circumference and PERSISTENT high blood pressure were also significantly associated with higher mean CIMT, but these differences were no longer significant after controlling for total fat and lean tissue mass. Baseline systolic blood pressure and 2-hour glucose were significantly related to CIMT independent of all other MetS components (p<0.05).
Persistence of the MetS over a 3-year period was uniquely associated with increased CIMT during childhood. Children with hypertension, persistent abdominal adiposity and impaired glucose tolerance may also be at higher risk for elevated CIMT.
CIMT; obesity; children; MetS
To assess carotid artery intima media thickness (CIMT) change over two years in overweight Latino adolescents and examine its relationship to cardiometabolic risk.
72 healthy overweight male and female Latino adolescents (mean age: 14.5±1.7 yrs; mean BMI: 31.5±6.9 kg/m2) were evaluated at baseline and 2 years later for: CIMT by high resolution B-mode ultrasound, the metabolic syndrome and its features, body composition by DEXA and MRI, and glucose/insulin measures by fasting blood, and oral and intravenous glucose tolerance tests.
Baseline CIMT did not differ from 2-year follow-up; however 38 participants increased CIMT (0.017±0.003mm; +2.8%) and 34 decreased (-0.019±0.002mm; −3.1%). ANCOVA analyses showed that participants with CIMT progression had higher baseline LDL-cholesterol and total cholesterol (91.3±3.4 and 150.3±3.9mg/dL) compared with those with CIMT regression (78.1±3.6 and 135.6±4.2mg/dL, p<0.05), independent of sex, baseline CIMT, age, and height. In multivariate regression, LDL-cholesterol was the sole predictor of CIMT progression, but the effect was small (odds of CIMT progression increased by 3% for each 1 mg/dL higher baseline LDL-cholesterol [95% CI: 1.004-1.006, p=0.03].
These results indicate a high variability in the magnitude of CIMT change in growing overweight Latino youth and support the use of LDL-cholesterol to assess sub-clinical atherosclerosis risk in this population.
Obesity; Cardiovascular disease risk; Ultrasound imaging
We assessed associations of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and -2), cytomegalovirus (CMV), and human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) infection with subclinical coronary atherosclerosis in 291 HIV-infected men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. Coronary artery calcium (CAC) was measured by non-contrast coronary CT imaging. Markers for herpesviruses infection were measured in frozen specimens collected 10-12 years prior to case identification. Multivariable logistic regression models and ordinal logistic regression models were performed. HSV-2 seropositivity was associated with coronary atherosclerosis (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] =4.12, 95% confidence interval [CI] =1.58-10.85) after adjustment for age, race/ethnicity, cardiovascular risk factors, and HIV infection related factors. Infection with a greater number of herpesviruses was associated with elevated CAC levels (AOR=1.58, 95% CI=1.06-2.36). Our findings suggest HSV-2 may be a risk factor for subclinical coronary atherosclerosis in HIV-infected men. Infection with multiple herpesviruses may contribute to the increased burden of atherosclerosis.
herpesvirus; HSV-2; atherosclerosis; HIV-1/AIDS; risk factors
HIV-infected patients have low vitamin D levels as well as an increase in cardiovascular (CVD) risk. We examined the relationship between vitamin D and three markers of arterial dysfunction among HIV-infected individuals on stable antiretroviral (ARV) therapy. Levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] were assessed by chemiluminescent immunoassay (DiaSorin) in 100 enrollees into the Hawaii Aging with HIV-Cardiovascular Cohort Study, a cohort of HIV-infected subjects age ≥40 years on stable (≥6 months) ARV therapy. The relationships between 25(OH)D levels and brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD), right common carotid artery intima-media thickness (cIMT), and coronary artery calcium (CAC) were examined. Analytical methods included Pearson's correlations, Kruskal–Wallis tests, relative risks, and linear regression models. The cohort was 86% male and 60% white with a median age of 52 years and CD4 of 510 cells/mm3. The median (Q1, Q3) level of 25(OH)D was 27.9 ng/ml (21.8, 38.3). There were 72 FMD, 50 cIMT, and 90 CAC measurements available for analyses. A significant correlation was observed between 25(OH)D levels and FMD (r=0.30, p=0.01) but not with cIMT (r=−0.05, p=0.76). In a linear regression model, Framingham risk score attenuated the relationship between FMD and 25(OH)D. Those with lower 25(OH)D levels were at slightly higher risk of having CAC (RR=1.02, p=0.04). Among those with CAC, lower 25(OH)D levels were not associated with higher CAC scores (p=0.36). Lower vitamin D levels are associated with evidence of subclinical arterial dysfunction in HIV-infected individuals. The significance of these findings warrants further investigation.
Inflammation and hemostasis perturbation may be involved in vascular complications of HIV infection. We examined atherogenic biomarkers and subclinical atherosclerosis in HIV-infected adults before and after beginning highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
In the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), 127 HIV-infected women studied pre- and post-HAART were matched to HIV-uninfected controls. Six semi-annual measurements of soluble CD14, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, soluble interleukin (IL)-2 receptor, IL-6, IL-10, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, D-dimer, and fibrinogen were obtained. Carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) was measured by B-mode ultrasound.
Relative to HIV-uninfected controls, HAART-naïve HIV-infected women had elevated levels of soluble CD14 (1945 vs 1662 ng/mL, Wilcoxon signed rank P<0.0001), TNF-alpha (6.3 vs 3.4 pg/mL, P<0.0001), soluble IL-2 receptor (1587 vs 949 pg/mL, P<0.0001), IL-10 (3.3 vs 1.9 pg/mL, P<0.0001), MCP-1 (190 vs 163 pg/mL, P<0.0001) and D-dimer (0.43 vs 0.31 µg/mL, P<0.01). Elevated biomarker levels declined after HAART. While most biomarkers normalized to HIV-uninfected levels, in women on effective HAART, TNF-alpha levels remained elevated compared to HIV-uninfected women (+0.8 pg/mL, P=0.0002). Higher post-HAART levels of soluble IL-2 receptor (P=0.02), IL-6 (P=0.05), and D-dimer (P=0.03) were associated with increased CIMT.
Untreated HIV infection is associated with abnormal hemostasis (e.g., D-dimer), and pro-atherogenic (e.g., TNF-alpha) and anti-atherogenic (e.g., IL-10) inflammatory markers. HAART reduces most inflammatory mediators to HIV-uninfected levels. Increased inflammation and hemostasis are associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in recently treated women. These findings have potential implications for long-term risk of cardiovascular disease in HIV-infected patients, even with effective therapy.
antiretroviral therapy; cardiovascular diseases; cytokines; hemostasis; HIV; inflammation
Background. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection has been implicated in immune activation and accelerated progression of immunodeficiency from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coinfection. We hypothesized that CMV is associated with vascular disease in HIV-infected adults.
Methods. In the Women's Interagency HIV Study, we studied 601 HIV-infected and 90 HIV-uninfected participants. We assessed the association of CMV immunoglobulin G (IgG) level with carotid artery intima-media thickness, carotid artery distensibility, Young's elastic modulus, and blood pressures. Multivariable models adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, smoking, diabetes, and body mass index.
Results. Mean CMV IgG levels were higher in HIV-infected women compared with HIV-uninfected women (P < .01). Among HIV-infected women, higher CMV IgG level was associated with decreased carotid artery distensibility (P < .01) and increased Young's modulus (P = .02). Higher CMV IgG antibody level was associated with increased prevalence of carotid artery lesions among HIV-infected women who achieved HIV suppression on antiretroviral therapy, but not among viremic or untreated HIV-infected women. Adjustment for Epstein–Barr virus antibody levels and C-reactive protein levels had no effect on the associations between CMV IgG levels and vascular parameters.
Conclusions. Cytomegalovirus antibody titers are increased in HIV-infected women and associated with subclinical cardiovascular disease. Host responses to CMV may be abnormal in HIV infection and associated with clinical disease.
To evaluate associations between traditional cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, inflammatory markers, and markers of HIV disease activity with ultrasonographic measures of CVD risk in patients with HIV who are not receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Cross-sectional, baseline evaluation of ART-naïve HIV-infected individuals without known CVD or diabetes mellitus enrolled in a randomized ART treatment trial.
Prior to ART initiation, carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) and brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) were measured. Additional parameters included CD4 cell count, HIV viral load, body composition, lipoproteins, and inflammatory markers. Associations with common CIMT, bifurcation CIMT, presence of carotid artery lesions, and brachial artery FMD were evaluated.
The 331 enrolled subjects were a median (1st–3rd quartile) of 36 (28–45) years old. Common and bifurcation CIMT values were higher and lesions more prevalent with older age (p <0.001). FMD was lower with older age (p =0.009). Those with a Framingham Risk Score >6%/10 years (N =44) had higher common and bifurcation CIMT (p <0.001), carotid lesion prevalence (p <0.001), and lower FMD (p =0.035). Independent associations with common CIMT were identified for increasing age, height, weight, small LDL particles, and black race; these were similar for bifurcation CIMT. Presence of carotid artery lesions was associated with increasing age, presence of metabolic syndrome, interleukin-6, and lower HIV-1 RNA.
In a contemporary cohort of ART-naive HIV-infected individuals, ultrasonographic measures of CVD risk were more strongly associated with traditional risk factors than CD4 cell counts, HIV replication, or inflammatory markers.
atherosclerosis; carotid arteries; endothelial function; human immunodeficiency virus; inflammation
Over the past decade two informative events in primary prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD) have occurred for women’s health. The first concerns hormone therapy (HT) where data have come full circle from presumed harm to consistency with observational data that HT initiation in close proximity to menopause significantly reduces CHD and overall mortality. The other concerns sex-specific efficacy of CHD primary prevention therapies where lipid-lowering and aspirin therapy have not been conclusively shown to significantly reduce CHD and more importantly where there is lack of evidence that either therapy reduces overall mortality in women. Cumulated data supports a “window-of-opportunity” for maximal reduction of CHD and overall mortality and minimization of risks with HT initiation before 60 years of age and/or within 10 years of menopause and continued for 6 years or more. There is a substantial increase in quality-adjusted life-years over a 5–30 year period in women who initiate HT in close proximity to menopause supporting HT as a highly cost-effective strategy for improving quality-adjusted life. Although primary prevention therapies and HT contrast in their efficacy to significantly reduce CHD and especially overall mortality in postmenopausal women, the magnitude and types of risks associated with HT are similar to those associated with other medications commonly used in women’s health. The cumulated data highlight the importance of studying the HT cardioprotective hypothesis in women representative of those from whom the hypothesis was generated.
Hormone Therapy; Estrogen; Menopause; Women; Coronary Heart Disease; Randomized Controlled Trials; Mortality; Meta-Analysis
HDL function rather than absolute level may be a more accurate indicator for risk of developing atherosclerosis. Dysfunctional HDL has increased redox activity and reduced antioxidant properties, but it is unknown whether abnormal HDL function is associated with progression of atherosclerosis in HIV-1-infected subjects.
We retrospectively measured serum HDL function in 91 subjects from a prospective 3-year study of carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT), which enrolled triads of risk factor-matched persons that were HIV-1-uninfected (n=36) or HIV-1+ with (n=29) or without (n=26) protease inhibitor (PI)-based therapy for ≥ 2 years. HDL function was assessed using a biochemical assay that measures the oxidation of dihydrorhodamine 123 (DHR oxidation rate, DOR), in which higher DOR readout corresponds to dysfunctional HDL phenotype.
There were no significant associations between DOR and HIV-1 infection. In univariate analysis of 55 HIV-1-infected subjects, greater waist circumference and lower serum HDL were significantly associated with higher baseline levels of DOR (p=0.01). These subjects had significant increases in levels of DOR over time (3 years) that were associated with white race (p=0.03), higher nadir CD4 count (p<0.001), and lower baseline CIMT (p<0.001). Lower baseline HDL levels, but not function of HDL (p>0.1) (DOR), were significantly associated (p=0.02) with progression of CIMT.
In a small matched cohort study of HIV-1-infected subjects who had a low cardiovascular risk profile, HDL function changed over time and was independently associated with anthropometric parameters of obesity but not with progression of CIMT.
HIV-1; High density lipoprotein (HDL); HDL function; Dysfunctional HDL; Redox activity; Atherosclerosis
Millions of women in the United States and across the globe abruptly discontinued postmenopausal hormone therapy (HT) after the initial Women’s Health Initiative trial publication. Few data describing the effects of HT cessation on hip fracture incidence in the general population are available. We evaluated the impact of HT cessation on hip fracture incidence in a large cohort from the Southern California Kaiser Permanente health management organization.
In this longitudinal observational study, 80,955 postmenopausal women using HT as of July 2002 were followed up through December 2008. Data on HT use after July 2002, antiosteoporotic medication use, and occurrence of hip fracture were collected from the electronic medical record system. Bone mineral density (BMD) was assessed in 54,209 women once during the study period using the dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan.
After 6.5 years of follow-up, age- and race-adjusted Cox proportional hazard models showed that women who discontinued HT were at 55% greater risk of hip fracture compared with those who continued using HT (hazard ratio, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.36–1.77). Hip fracture risk increased as early as 2 years after cessation of HT (hazard ratio, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.26–1.84), and the risk incrementally increased with longer duration of cessation (P for trend < 0.0001). Longer duration of HT cessation was linearly correlated with lower BMD (β estimate [SE]) = −0.13 [0.003] T-score SD unit per year of HT cessation; P < 0.0001).
Women who discontinued postmenopausal HT had significantly increased risk of hip fracture and lower BMD compared with women who continued taking HT. The protective association of HT with hip fracture disappeared within 2 years of cessation of HT. These results have public health implications with regard to morbidity and mortality from hip fracture.
Hormone therapy; Hip fracture; Bone mineral density; Women’s Health Initiative
Background and Purpose
Although epidemiological and experimental studies suggest that dietary intake of soy may be cardioprotective, use of isoflavone soy protein (ISP) supplementation as a primary preventive therapy remains unexplored. We determined whether ISP reduces subclinical atherosclerosis assessed as carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) progression.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 350 postmenopausal women 45–92 years of age without diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) were randomized to 2 evenly divided daily doses of 25 g soy protein containing 91 mg aglycon isoflavone equivalents or placebo for 2.7-years.
Overall, mean (95% confidence interval) CIMT progression rate was 4.77(3.39–6.16) μm/year in the ISP group and 5.68(4.30–7.06) μm/year in the placebo group. Although CIMT progression was reduced on average by 16% in the ISP group relative to the placebo group, this treatment effect was not statistically significant (p=0.36). Among the subgroup of women who were randomized within 5 years of menopause, ISP participants had on average a 68% lower CIMT progression rate than placebo participants 2.16(−1.10–5.43) vs. 6.79(3.56–10.01) μm/year, p=0.05). ISP supplementation had a null effect on women who were >5 years beyond menopause when randomized. There were no major adverse events from ISP supplementation.
ISP supplementation did not significantly reduce subclinical atherosclerosis progression in postmenopausal women. Subgroup analysis suggest that ISP supplementation may reduce subclinical atherosclerosis in healthy young (median age, 53 years) women at low-risk for CVD who were <5 years postmenopausal. These first trial results of their kind warrant further investigation.
Atherosclerosis; Cardiovascular disease; Intima-media thickness; Isoflavones; Menopause; Soy; Women
Carotid artery intima-media thickness progression is associated with human immunodeficiency virus replication as well as with exposure to certain antiretroviral therapy regimens.
Background. Persons with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are at risk for premature cardiovascular disease (CVD). Predictors of atherosclerotic disease progression in contemporary patients have not been well described.
Methods. Using data from a prospective observational cohort of adults infected with HIV (Study to Understand the Natural History of HIV/AIDS in the Era of Effective Therapy), we assessed common carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) at baseline and year 2 by ultrasound. We examined HIV-associated predictors of CIMT progression after adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, body mass index, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, and baseline CIMT using linear regression.
Results. Among 389 participants (median age at baseline, 42 years; male sex, 77%; median CD4+ cell count at baseline, 485 cells/mm3; 78% receiving antiretroviral therapy), the median 2-year CIMT change was 0.016 mm (interquartile range, −0.003 to 0.033 mm; P < .001). Lesser CIMT progression was associated with a suppressed viral load at baseline (−0.009 mm change; P = .015) and remaining virologically suppressed throughout follow-up (−0.011 mm change; P < .001). After adjusting for additional risk factors and a suppressed viral load during follow-up, nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor versus protease inhibitor exposure was associated with lesser CIMT progression (−0.011 mm change; P = .02).
Conclusions. Suppressing HIV replication below clinical thresholds was associated with less progression of atherosclerosis. The proatherogenic mechanisms of HIV replication and the net CVD benefit of different antiretroviral drugs should be a focus of future research.
Postmenopausal changes in the hormonal milieu in women with or without hormone therapy (HT) are hypothesized to be the pathway for a number of menopause-associated modifications in physiology and disease risk. Physical activity may modify these changes in women’s hormone profiles. The crucial yet complex relationship between physical activity and physiologic and pharmacologic sex hormone levels in postmenopausal women has not been investigated sufficiently.
Using structured recall, physical activity was assessed longitudinally over two years in 194 postmenopausal women (90 randomized to daily 1 mg 17β-estradiol and 104 to placebo) in the Estrogen in the Prevention of Atherosclerosis Trial. Levels of physical activity were correlated to serum sex hormone and serum hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels in each treatment group.
In placebo-treated women, total energy expenditure was positively associated with sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) (p<0.001) and inversely associated with testosterones (total, bioavailable, free) and androstenedione (p<0.001 for all), as well as with estradiol (p=0.02). In estradiol-treated women, estradiol levels were inversely associated with total energy expenditure (p=0.002) and weekly hours spent in moderate or more vigorous physical activity (p=0.001).
Physical activity is associated with lower serum levels of estradiol in both HT-treated and untreated women. In placebo-treated women only, physical activity is associated with reduced androgen levels and elevated SHBG levels.
Physical activity; sex hormones; estradiol; menopause
Racial/ethnic differences in common carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) and in risk factors associated with CIMT have been predominantly observed in middle-aged and older individuals. We aimed to characterize racial/ethnic differences CIMT and other cardiovascular risk factors in a healthy, young-adult population.
College students were recruited as part of a study to characterize determinants of atherogenesis. Students were eligible if they were lifetime non-smokers, lived in the United States since six months of age, and attended high school in the United States. Blood pressure, heart rate, height, and weight were measured, B-mode carotid ultrasound was performed, questionnaires were administered and a 12-hr fasting blood sample was collected. Associations between CIMT and other variables were assessed in 768 students aged 18 to 25 years using linear regression analysis.
In models adjusted for common cardiovascular risk factors, sex exhibited the strongest influence on CIMT, with men having 15.4 µm larger CIMT compared to women (95%CI 6.6, 24.2). Race/ethnicity was also strongly associated with CIMT. African Americans had 17.3 µm greater CIMT (95% CI −0.3, 34.8) compared to non Hispanic Whites, whereas Asians and Hispanic Whites had 14.3 (95%CI −24.3, −4.4) and 15.4 (95%CI −26.2, −4.7) µm smaller CIMT, respectively. BMI and systolic blood pressure were positively associated with CIMT.
The risk factors associated with atherogenesis later in life are already present and observable in college-aged young adults, so targeted campaigns to reduce life-long cardiovascular disease burden should be initiated earlier in life to improve public health.
CIMT; SBP; race; ethnicity; young adults
HIV disease is associated with increased arterial stiffness, which may be related to inflammation provoked by HIV-related immune perturbation. We assessed the association of T cell markers of immune activation and immunosenescence with carotid artery stiffness among HIV-infected women.
Among 114 HIV-infected and 43 HIV-uninfected women, we measured CD4+ and CD8+ T cell populations expressing activation (CD38+HLA-DR+) and senescence (CD28-CD57+) markers. We then related these measures of immune status with parameters of carotid artery stiffness, including decreased distensibility, and increased Young’s elastic modulus, as assessed by B-mode ultrasound.
HIV infection was associated with increased CD4+ T cell activation, CD8+ T cell activation and CD8+ T cell senescence. Among HIV-infected women, adjusted for age, HIV medications, and vascular risk factors, higher CD4+CD38+HLA-DR+ T cell frequency was associated with decreased carotid artery distensibility (β= −2.00, 95% confidence interval [CI]= −3.86,−0.14, P=0.04) and increased Young’s modulus (β=1.00, 95% CI=0.03,1.97, P=0.04). These associations were affected little by further adjustment for CD4+ T cell count and viral load. Among HIV-infected women, higher frequencies of immunosenescent T cells, including CD4+CD28-CD57+ and CD8+CD28-CD57+ T cells, were also associated with decreased arterial distensibility. Among HIV-uninfected women, frequencies of activated or senescent T cells were not significantly associated with measures of carotid stiffness.
T cell activation and senescence are associated with arterial stiffness, suggesting that pro-inflammatory populations of T cells may produce functional or structural vascular changes in HIV-infected women.
Within arterial bifurcations or branching points, oscillatory shear stress (OSS) induces oxidative stress mainly via the NADPH oxidase system. It is unknown whether 17β-estradiol (E2) can regulate OSS-mediated low density lipoprotein (LDL) modifications. Bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs) were pre-treated with E2 at 5 nmol/L, followed by exposure to OSS (0 ± 3.0 dynes/cm2sec and 60 cycles/min) in a flow system. E2 decreased OSS-mediated NADPH oxidase mRNA expression, and E2-mediated ·NO production was mitigated by the ·NO synthase inhibitor L-NAME. The rates of O2−· production in response to OSS increased steadily as determined by superoxide dismutase-inhibited ferricytochrome c reduction; however, pre-treatment with E2 decreased OSS-mediated O2−· production (n=4, P<0.05). In the presence of native LDL (50 μg/mL), E2 also significantly reversed OSS-mediated LDL oxidation as determined by high performance liquid chromatography. In the presence of O2−· donor, xanthine oxidase (XO), E2 further reversed XO-induced LDL lipid peroxidation (n=3, P<0.001). Mass spectra were acquired in the m/z 400–1800 range, revealing XO-mediated LDL protein nitration involving tyrosine 2535 in the α-2 domains, whereas pre-treatment with E2 reversed this observation, consistent with the changes in nitrotyrosine intensities by the dot blots. E2 plays an indirect antioxidative role. In addition to up-regulation of eNOS and down-regulation of Nox4 expression, E2 influences LDL modifications via lipid peroxidation and protein nitration.
17β-Estradiol; Shear stress; LDL lipid oxidation and nitration; NADPH oxidase; Superoxide anion; Nitric oxide
The totality of data indicate that the “window of opportunity” for reducing coronary heart disease (CHD) and overall mortality is initiation of hormone therapy (HT) within 6 years of menopause and/or before 60 years of age. Reduction of CHD risk and overall mortality with prolonged HT use in this subgroup of women is consistent across randomized controlled trials and observational studies. As such, HT use for 5 to 30 years in postmenopausal women who initiate HT in their 50s substantially increases quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) by 1.5 QALYs and is highly cost-effective at $2,438 per QALY gained. Cumulated randomized controlled trial results indicate a consistency along with observational data that young postmenopausal women with menopausal symptoms who use HT for long periods of time have lower rates of CHD and overall mortality than comparable postmenopausal women who do not use HT.
Background and purpose
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected persons taking highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) may have an increased risk for cardiovascular-related events, although the underlying mechanism remains unclear. We tested the hypothesis that carotid arterial stiffness was higher among persons taking HAART compared to HAART-naïve and HIV-uninfected persons.
Between 2004 and 2006, we performed high resolution B-mode ultrasound on 2,789 HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected participants of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS; 1865 women) and the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS; 924 men) and determined carotid arterial distensibility, a direct measure of carotid arterial stiffness. We used generalized estimating equations to evaluate the association between distensibility and HIV infection, CD4+ cell count, and exposure to HAART adjusted for demographic, behavioral, and clinical characteristics.
In multivariable analysis, distensibility was 4.3% lower (95% confidence interval (CI): -7.4% to -1.1%) among HIV-infected versus uninfected participants. Among HIV-infected participants with fewer than 200 CD4+ cells, distensibility was 10.5% lower (95% CI: -14.5% to -6.2%) than that among HIV-uninfected participants, and this effect did not differ significantly by cohort or race. Concurrent HAART use was independently associated with lower distensibility among MACS participants but not among WIHS participants.
Our finding that advanced HIV-related immunosuppression was associated with increased carotid arterial stiffness independent from the effects of traditional atherosclerosis risk factors suggests that the etiologic mechanism underlying reports of an increased cardiovascular disease risk among HIV-infected individuals might involve HIV-related immunosuppression leading to vascular dysfunction and arterial stiffening.
atherosclerosis; cardiovascular disease; carotid arteries; HIV; epidemiology
A woman’s risk for metabolic syndrome (MS) increases at menopause, with an associated increase in risk for cardiovascular disease. We hypothesized that early menopause-related changes in platelet activity and concentrations of microvesicles derived from activated blood and vascular cells provide a mechanistic link to the early atherothrombotic process. Thus, platelet functions and cellular origin of blood-borne microvesicles in recently menopausal women (n = 118) enrolled in the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study were correlated with components of MS and noninvasive measures of cardiovascular disease [carotid artery intima medial thickness (CIMT), coronary artery calcium (CAC) score, and endothelial reactive hyperemic index (RHI)]. Specific to individual components of the MS pentad, platelet number increased with increasing waist circumference, and platelet secretion of ATP and expression of P-selectin decreased with increasing blood glucose (p = 0.005) and blood pressure (p < 0.05), respectively. Waist circumference and systolic blood pressure were independently associated with monocyte- and endothelium-derived microvesicles (p < 0.05). Platelet-derived and total procoagulant phosphatidylserine-positive microvesicles, and systolic blood pressure correlated with CIMT (p < 0.05), but not with CAC or RHI. In summary, among recently menopausal women, specific platelet functions and concentrations of circulating activated cell membrane-derived procoagulant microvesicles change with individual components of MS. These cellular changes may explain in part how menopause contributes to MS and, eventually, to cardiovascular disease.
Atherosclerosis; Carotid intima medial thickening; Coronary calcification; Endothelial function; Monocytes; Platelet secretion
Hormone therapy has been shown to reduce markers of vascular inflammation in postmenopausal women. C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of generalized inflammation, is raised by oral estradiol therapy. It is not known how sex hormone concentrations relate to the markers of inflammation in postmenopausal women taking or not taking hormone therapy.
This observational study includes postmenopausal women participating in the Estrogen in the Prevention of Atherosclerosis Trial (EPAT). Multiple measures of serum sex hormone and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) levels from 107 postmenopausal women taking oral estradiol therapy (ET) and 109 taking placebo over 2 years were correlated with markers of inflammation over the same time period using generalized estimating equations.
Levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) were significantly inversely associated with estrone (p = 0.05), total and free estradiol (p = 0.008 and 0.02, respectively), and SHBG (p = 0.03) only among oral ET users. Serum homocysteine levels were also inversely associated with estrone (p = 0.0001), total and free estradiol (p = 0.0006 and 0.0009, respectively) in ET-treated women only. No such associations were observed among women taking placebo. C-reactive protein (CRP) was positively associated with estrogens and SHBG among women taking oral ET but inversely associated with SHBG among the placebo group.
The inverse associations of estrogens with sICAM-1, and homocysteine support an anti-inflammatory property of estrogen, which was only observed at pharmacologic levels in postmenopausal women. The positive associations between estrogens and CRP in the ET-treated women can be explained by the first-pass hepatic effect rather than a pro-inflammatory response.
estrogen; androgen; CRP; sICAM; homocysteine
Isoflavonoids (IFLs) may protect against chronic diseases including cancer. IFL exposure is traditionally measured from plasma but the reliability of urine is uncertain. We assessed whether IFL excretion in overnight urine (OU) or spot urine (SU) reliably reflects IFLs in plasma (PL) and the usefulness of the three matrices to determine soy intake compliance.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled soy intervention trial with 350 postmenopausal women, IFLs (daidzein, genistein, glycitein, equol, O-desmethylangolensin, dihydrodaidzein, dihydrogenistein) were analyzed by LCMS in OU, SU, and PL collected at baseline and every 6 months over 2.5 years.
High between-subjects intraclass correlations between all three matrices (median 0.94) and high between-subjects Pearson correlations (median rOU-PL=0.80; median rSU-PL=0.80; median rOU-SU=0.92) allowed the development of equations to predict IFL values from any of the three matrices. Equations developed from a randomly selected 87% of all available data were valid as high correlations were found on the residual 13% of data between equation-generated and measured IFL values (median rOU-PL=0.86; median rSU-PL=0.78; median rOU-SU=0.84); median absolute IFL differences for OU-PL, SU-PL, and OU-SU were 8.8 nM, 10.3 nM and 0.28 nmol/mg, respectively. All three matrices showed highly significant IFL differences between the placebo and soy intervention group at study end (P<0.0001) and highly significant correlations between IFL values and counted soy doses in the intervention group.
OU and SU IFL excretion reflect circulating PL IFL levels in healthy postmenopausal women accurately.
Noninvasively-collected urine can be used to reliably determine systemic IFL exposure and soy intake compliance.
isoflavonoids; urine; plasma; compliance; soy; intervention; biomarker